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November 23, 2014

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Harry Reid says billionaire Koch brothers ‘trying to buy America’

Harry Reid

Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continued his vitriolic attacks on the Koch brothers today, calling them “the cult of Koch.”

Reid attacked billionaire Republican mega-donors Charles and David Koch as he spoke on the Senate floor. The Nevada Democrat has made attacking the donors, who give generously to Republican challengers of vulnerable Senate Democrats, a top priority this election season.

“It’s not right that we have two of the richest men in the world trying to buy America,” Reid said.

After a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that loosened campaign finance laws, the Koch brothers raised and spent hundreds of millions of dollars supporting Republicans in the 2012 elections, according to OpenSecrets.org.

They have spent millions more this year, propelling this mid-term election year to be one of the most expensive in history.

The Koch brothers have mostly funneled money through vague issue-based nonprofits that don’t have to disclose their donors but also can’t directly participate in political attacks.

Politico reported this week that the brothers are also opening a Super PAC, Freedon Partners Action Fund, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to directly support or attack campaigns. The fund plans to spend more than $15 million in the 2014 election cycle, Politico reports.

Reid has put the full weight of his Senate leadership behind an effort to amend the US Constitution to end outside spending in campaigns, but his efforts are mostly political posturing.

“Let’s put an end of the cult of dark money,” Reid said Thursday.

Calling the Koch brothers “a cult” is only one of several of Reid’s memorable attacks on the donors. He has also accused the Koch brothers of being "un-American" and "one of the main causes" of climate change.

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